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Government of Canada invests $43 million in clean technology innovation

March 13, 2017

Technology and the innovation it helps promote are key to the future of Canada’s economy. This is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting technologies that will advance our environmental objectives, create jobs and stimulate growth in the clean tech sector.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today announced an investment of up to $20 million to support clean energy projects at the pre-commercialization stage. This investment, part of a $40-million joint initiative that includes matching funds from the province of British Columbia, will help companies with innovative projects at the prototype, field testing and demonstration stages. Interested parties will be able to submit their applications in early April 2017 to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).

The Minister also announced funding for two companies based in British Columbia that are developing innovations that will lower carbon emissions, build healthier communities and contribute to a cleaner environment for all Canadians, thereby supporting Canada’s goal of becoming a centre for global innovation and clean growth. The funding is being provided through SDTC, which works with Canadian companies to bring groundbreaking clean technologies to market.

The investments include a $10-million non-repayable contribution to the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC), a Burnaby-based joint venture with Germany’s Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company. Through this joint venture, AFCC is developing new fuel cell modules to be used in automotive applications. This exciting new technology has the potential to reduce the difference in cost between fuel cell and combustion engine vehicles. As well, the project has drawn over $70 million in global investment into Canada, for a total project value of $88 million.

The second project is led by Canfor Pulp Products Inc., a leading global producer of premium pulp and paper products that is also one of North America’s largest green energy producers. The $13-million non-repayable contribution through SDTC will enable Canfor to further develop and demonstrate a technology that will take what is a currently a waste product from its production processes and develop it into a low-cost biofuels product. Canfor’s new biocrude could be refined by existing refineries into next-generation biofuels and biochemicals that can be easily integrated into conventional fuels markets.

A focus on clean technology, innovation and growth is a core element of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Through the Framework, Canada will focus on having globally competitive Canadian businesses as we transition to a low-carbon economy.

Canada’s Innovation Agenda promotes clean growth, good jobs and higher living standards for the middle class.
The investments announced today are an example of this vision in action.


Our government is proud to support Canadian clean tech and advanced manufacturing companies like AFCC and Canfor. Through innovation, these two firms will make great advances in energy efficiency, leading to lower carbon emissions, healthier communities and a cleaner environment. Our government will continue to work with partners to invest in clean technologies that lead to better jobs, better opportunities and a better living standard for the middle class.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Canadian companies are partnering to lead on clean technology innovation, from fuel cells to biofuels. The investments announced today will create new jobs and provide environmental benefits to British Columbians and all Canadians.”
– Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

“Demand for automotive fuel cell development is higher than ever before. Fuel cells offer a full-performance, high-range, high-efficiency, zero-emission vehicle alternative to combustion engines. Canada has a strong history of and world leading expertise in designing and manufacturing automotive fuel cells. Continuing to develop and establish roots ensures that Canadians are major players.”
– Thorsten Wesse, CEO, Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation

“We have the opportunity to create a truly renewable biofuel that can easily integrate with conventional fuels to dramatically lower environmental impacts. This funding from SDTC provides critical support as we look to operationalize this truly transformative green technology.”
– Martin Pudlas, Vice-President, Operations, Canfor Pulp Products Inc.

Quick facts

  • In December 2016, Canada’s First Ministers adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. It outlines federal-provincial-territorial commitments on action on zero-emissions vehicle technologies, including plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and identifies opportunities for producing renewable fuels and bioproducts—for example, by generating renewable fuel from waste.
  • Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada to promote sustainable development and support projects that develop and demonstrate new technologies to address issues related to climate change, air quality and clean water and soil. SDTC invests in Canadian companies that, through their innovative technologies, contribute positively to Canada by creating quality jobs, driving economic growth and protecting the environment.
  • Budget 2016 provided an additional $50 million over four years, beginning in 2017–18, to Sustainable Development Technology Canada for the SD Tech Fund.